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Meet Anthony Acker of Wheat and Fire Pizza Catering in Sawtelle and Westside LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Acker.

Anthony, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My formative years were spent on a farm and working ranch in Oregon. A rural life demonstrated to me fresh wholesome food and wood fire cooking. However, it did more than develop my palette and technical skills. It provided me an understanding of how wholesome food helps your wellbeing and creates the best flavors.

My teen years significantly transformed my upbringing even further. First of all, I cooked with James Beard at his Seaside Oregon Cooking School. The Dean of Gourmet fueled my passion for local, wholesome fresh food. Later, I started at Jakes Famous Crawfish in Portland, Oregon. Jakes was a legendary restaurant that created a new menu every day from local ingredients.

Later, I expressed my love of artisan food with the specialty artisan coffee and food movement. By eventually building, creating and expanding a European styled scratch bakery and café’ concept into nine locations. However, an unlimited supply of scratch made baked goods created my own gluten health issues. My personal and professional experiences lead me to natural yeast, fermentation and stone ground flour.

Eventually, I had cured my own digestion issues before gluten intolerance was a topic of conversation. Afterwards the rise of the gluten free movement and its false information inspired me again. As a result, it was time to educate people on how you can eat gluten even with digestion issues.

I tapped into my extensive knowledge of wood fired ovens from running one at the bakery and through consulting. Tools in hand, I had to build a custom wood fire pizza catering oven to prepare this unique style of dough.

On January 1st 2015, Wheat and Fire was created and a wood fire pizza catering chef was born!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Staying focused on a passion of artisan food keeps the struggles less obtrusive. The challenge is trying to spread the word of good artisan crafted food here in LA. LA is a city more focused on movement and getting to the next place it is not traditionally a city that sits still and takes in its surroundings. I would say it is the last major west coast city adopt the artisan and craft movement compared to SF, Portland, Seattle, etc…

Like all things in LA once it starts to move it does so quickly as we are seeing with craft beer movement.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Wheat and Fire Pizza Catering – what should we know?
WE ARE THE ONLY PORTABLE WOOD FIRED OVEN PIZZA CATERER THAT …
Fresh grinds to order their own non GMO Certified Chemical Free Wheat Berries; then adds natural yeast and ferments to alleviate most gluten digestion issues.

Grows their own organic herbs and vegetables to insure a farm to fork sustainable experience; while making all of their own menu using organic, all natural, farm fresh and even some kosher components.

All crafted by a chef with 20 years of innovative, award winning flavor combinations; who built our mobile wood fired ovens for our unique pizza style and an intimate size that can roll right to your door.

We do all of this to not only bring crafted artisan food to LA in a format accessible by many (who does not like pizza) but to also help people become educated on how gluten sensitivities are a direct result of processed foods. We really have had thousands of people with gluten sensitivity be able to eat our pizza dough to using natural yeast and fresh ground flour.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
James Beard who I was able to cook with at his Seaside Cooking School.

Bill McCormick for hiring me at Jake’s Famous Crawfish my first restaurant job that expanded on my love of fresh made food by creating a new menu every day.

Ward Barbee at Fresh Cup for his passion for the specialty coffee and food movement and reinvigarting my own love.

And Tom Staley at FSA for working with me and the Food Alliance to help bring sustainable practices in the food industry to the forefront …

And my Dad for serving me the first fresh scratch made white sauce and clam pasta at a young age and allowing me free reign of our one-acre garden to pick and eat raw vegetables.

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3 Comments

  1. chef Tony

    March 28, 2017 at 15:38

    Thank you for the recognition of our labor of love and taking the time to help tell our story!

  2. Betty cuanalo

    March 29, 2017 at 18:33

    Hi Anthony this is your aunt Betty just want to say hi how are u doing we are all find hope u are ok too would love to here from u love betty

  3. Iva Mavrovich

    April 4, 2017 at 19:55

    I am lucky to have worked for Tony back in 2015. His knowledge and enthusiasm, let alone delicious food is inspiring! Keep doing what you’re doing, Tony!

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